Yes, it’s only January 10th. We still have 355 days to go before we give some turkey the brown medal for worst movie of 2013. But already we’ve got a really, really strong contender in The Legend of Hercules. Here are six reasons the gods might want their mythology back.
Essentially, this movie has stumbled into being the modern version of an ’80s cheesefest. And if that sounds entertaining, it is! Just… not for any intentional reason. Let’s break it down, shall we?
1) Hercules’ Conception
In an opening scene that would probably be the subject of Internet arguments if anybody could be bothered to see this dog, the movie opens with the literal beginning of Hercules. Alcmene, the queen of Argos, prays to Hera for help to keep her kingdom from being overrun and essentially setting her up to be “married” to Amphitryon. Instead Zeus shows up to ask if he can throw her the D before Aphi gets there and, like, totally stains the drapes.
To be fair, this is, if anything, a lot less rapey than the actual myth, but then there’s the conception scene, which is all billowing drapes, and flashes of lightning, and you kind of expect the whole thing to be set to Lightning Crashes because it’s that cheesy and silly. It will also mark the last believeable moment in this movie. Really. It gets worse from there.
2) The Terrible CGI
If this movie cost $70 million, my father was Zeus. The CGI isn’t exactly brilliant all throughout, but towards the opening, there’s some pretty painful stuff. A fight with a lion would have been more convincing if they’d made Kellan Lutz wrestle with a dude in a lion suit. Or possibly a stuffed lion toy. Speaking of which…
3) Kellan Lutz
I feel bad for Lutz, actually. The guy’s completely out of his depth, and worse, the make-up department seems out to get him because there is not a moment in this movie where it doesn’t look like he’s about to cross his eyes and unleash a lusty “DDDDDDDDDERRRRRRRP!” He really is Derpules, the poor guy, and will be referred to as such from now on.
4) Liam McIntyre Gives Up
Liam McIntyre, we’ll remind you, has actually played Spartacus, and is a good actor. But you can tell about halfway through that he was hoping Lutz would back out and he’d have his Broadway show moment of taking over. That doesn’t happen, so he just kind of phones this one in. He’d better at least have gotten a house out of this.
5) The Completely Unoriginal Screenplay
Basically, if I had to sum up this movie, it’s that Derpules goes to 300 before falling into Gladiator before crossing over into Ben-Hur before stumbling into Spartacus before faceplanting into Clash of the Titans.
6) The Dull Fight Scenes
Oh, Renny Harlin, what happened? The director of this was behind Die Hard 2 and The Long Kiss Goodnight, and while his more rigorous style does help make the fight scenes easy to follow, the choreography is so canned, and the fights themselves are so cliche-ridden, that not even the appearance of a gladiator doing ninja moves can liven things up.
In short, it’s exactly what it looks like: A cheap action movie trying to fill in screens and make some money before any actual good movies come out. If you go to see this, we recommend going in with some alcohol: It’ll ease the pain.